Hi guys, I find myself posting this quickly, and so will come back
when I have more time, but for now...
Assuming I have land, and so it is not factored into the price, I'm
just curious to know if anyone might like to suggest a figure in, say,
Canadian, United States, and/or Austalian materials and construction
dollars for this kind of house:
Pardon the old/crappy/unrevealing renderings-- I'll do some more-- but
if you could use your imaginations; it is a small house with a shed
(metal?) roof and all plumbing on the ground level-- none upstairs,
which for code purposes may be considered a loft.
The plan's dimensions are roughly 17' by 23' and there's a small
upstairs and attic. The frame's supposed to be post-and-beam
timberframe and with maybe some kind of rammed earth, adobe brick,
lime stucco, or straw-bale or (? suggestions) for the walls. Any
suggestions on how to get the price dirt cheap, as green and local as
possible would be nice and appreciated.
All ACAD plans for this house (essentially a 3D model) are free and
available upon request.
Rico: I've looked a bit at the shipping containers and am putting
together some plans drawings that look reasonable into 3D. It's a bit
long-going, but I'll try to pick up the pace. I have yet to find the
time to learn Sketchup, but it is on my system.
Ken: My condolences to all for Lynn's brother.
You really can't answer such a question for several reasons.
Location may affect the cost by +/- 200%. Post and beam in a foresty
area will be far cheaper, but in some parts of the country they'll
look at that and not know what to do with it other than throw a big
number at it.
Location is also important in determining foundation and insulation
requirements, seismic, hurricane, etc. All building should be site
specific, and all estimates by necessity are - except crappy ones.
The lighting study pictures are an obstacle, not a benefit. Post a
plain vanilla floor plan without furniture, shelving, screens and no
bells and whistles. Post the same type of elevations and a section or
two. Simple, I repeat, simple DWGs would be best. Basic dimensions.
You can get some a very rough idea of costs by going with a per square
foot estimate. You should investigate a post and beam kit house.
That will enable you to get a rough number for a kit delivered to a
particular area, and it's often easier to start with a basic house and
tweak it than it is to start from scratch with an unusual plan/
construction. In some ways you'd be doing "new remodeling" but it
would be a new house.
Another thing - plywood and lumber comes in 2' increments. Making a
17' by 23' house is shooting yourself in the foot right at the start.
You'll be cutting off stuff that you won't be using. That 1' longer
than 2@8' shorter dimension is a bitch. 16' by 24' is far better.
The cheapest way to go... There's an old saying: Good, fast cheap -
I can give you any two of the three, but I can't give you all three.
The cheapest way to go is to do most of it yourself and use recycled/
reclaimed materials as much as possible. In this instance cheapest
requires you to set your personal time value as low as possible. This
does not always make sense. Many times it makes more sense to have a
pro build it more quickly, while you work harder doing what you do
best (presumably maximizing your earnings).
As far as the post and beam frame, buying a barn, either already
dismantled or dismantling yourself might be the cheapest way to get a
structure, but it might not fit with your plans or plan.
Good advice Rico, and universally applicable.
The design shows some large dimensions for columns & beams. Probably very
difficult to find enough recycled timber with the right dimensions, and
not deformed by the original loadings? Numerous member intersections
requiring heavy exposed brackets/bolts/plates. Also presumably requires a
building inspector willing to assess individual members?
OP shows generous floor-to-ceiling height, so there's room for flat
trusses or plywood box beams in the wall panels.
A frame kit would be the way to go - all engineered and jig assembled off
You're the only person I have ever seen say that, except me.
I recently explained that to a client that wanted to do a 31' long
x50' wide addition to his home.
I asked him why he wanted to pay for and throw away 1' of house.
After I explained it he was a changed person and thought I was a
Just one look at the trash pile on the average building project and
you see nothing but dollar signs going up in smoke.
Thanks guys. I think I agree with most points and figured as much but
you never know for sure.
But I'll be back this weekend to respond properly.
Off the cuff, I'd say to Rico that there of course are project-cost-
examples out there that might be somehow inferrable to my particular
context, if not entirely accurate.
Troppo: That might be cheaper, the wood thing, yes.
Ken: Yes that's right, but there's a balcony, so maybe we can get the
couch in through there. ;D
Catch you later!
Ok, but how do you want to do it? (See my suggestion for Ken.)
Anyway, we're all busting our asses and then throwing it all away so
we can bust our asses some more for more and so on.
Then you'd get along with Dmitry Orlov:
"The important thing to understand about collapse is that it's brought
on by overreach and overstretch, and people being zealots and trying
too hard. It's not brought on by people being laid back and doing the
absolute minimum. Americans could very easily feed themselves and
clothe themselves and have a place to live, working maybe 100 days a
year. You know, it's a rich country in terms of resources. There's
really no reason to work more than maybe a third of your time. And
that's sort of a standard pattern in the world. But if you want to
build a huge empire and have endless economic growth, and have the
largest number of billionaires on the planet, then you have to work
over 40 hours a week all the time, and if you don't, then you're in
danger of going bankrupt. So that's the predicament that people have
ended up in. Now, the cure of course is not to do the same thing even
harder... what people have to get used to is the idea that most things
aren't worth doing anyway..."
~ Dmitry Orlov, author of 'Reinventing Collapse'
Eventually, some of us puzzle up a picture of reality they dislike.
What makes it worse is that there are others out there with similar
If Fukushima were on the prevailing-winds side of Japan, it might have
taken out much more of the country. Architecture is about scale...
So... are we out of scale? Carrying capacity and all that?
Did the BP oil spill make the GOM look like a bathtub?
How many rich 5-G ft. houses can we crank out before there's no land
or resources left?
You need to let go of that *we* crutch, srsly.
I have never cranked one out.
Seems a majority of people have been convinced they are a *we* then
whine like babies when they are treated like a *we*.
When people stand up straight and demand to be treated as individuals,
as they are, then they will be treated as such.
Take a look at the nightview on google earth.
Most of the population lives within 100 miles of a body of saltwater.
Look at all that vacant land in the middle.
There is no shortage of land and resources.
Unless you consider thinking a resource.
No, YOU didn't.
Why do you want to take credit for something you didn't do?
Oh, now I remember, from back in Psych101: people often take credit
for things they are not responsible for because they have done nothing
on their own to take credit for - this is sometimes called *team
Break your project down into bite sized pieces so that you are more
able to take it on.
Your house model for example.
Do an intensive materials list with quantities, exact sizes, etc.
Make exact drawings of all parts.
This is a long range, but very doable, goal.
Decide an order of importance in all of the parts.
Procure the first part buy either purchase or other means of
attainment or manufacture.
For example, your dwelling requires large expensive timbers.
Scan craigslist in your area for people that want downed trees removed
from their yard.
Also on craigslist find people with portable sawmills.
Trade a junk notebook for a used chainsaw or other required tools.
Exchange your known services for services of others or through
In time, you will have one timber column, in a storage building, cut
to shape, drying and waiting for its partner in the bent.
The 2nd time will be easier for you have already carved a path.
While doing all of the above constantly be reviewing your plan to see
how you can make your path shorter and less expensive.
Have multiple gameplans going on simultaneously.
Less yappin, more doin'. LOL
It took a week to figure it out and another week to get it done.
I and one other guy built a 13'x26' RS Cedar pergola under extreme
How much does a 26' long 4"x12" cedar beam weigh?
Far more than 2 guys can handle, I assure you.
So I relied on some things I learned while building timber trestle
bridges in the engineers in the army in germany a lifetime ago.
Gin poles, etc.
I broke it down to bite sized pieces, just like the major projects I
have done here at home.
A 40' long, 6' wide bridge linking my house with the garage.
Its been in the thinking stages for some time, now its time to get it
Oh yeah, one end of the bridge will be 4' higher than the other, so it
will be lots o' fun considering I don't want it to slope, but a couple
steps will be fine.
It'll be a marvel of human engineering and one more thing, I have a
very narrow budget - as close to free as possible.
For the most part I already have done that, disengaged that is.
Nowhere have you ever seen me say I don't need the products or
services of others.
I prefer to do as much as possible on my own but understand everyone
has their limits.
I have downsized, scaled back, modified, changed, reduced my
footprint, given back to the community, and expanded my
resourcefulness all in an effort of selfishness.
My new T-shirt design with my custom logo incorporating
E A R T H
on the front it says "Do more....
on the back it says ....use Less."
Available in all your favorite colors and sizes for $19.95 everywhere.
50% of the gross proceeds go to the snow leopard fund.
...Wow, what a stunner-- she's actually 13' x 20' if measured
It's been awhile so I'd forgotten. I was aware of the dimensions of
plywood from one of my CAD courses and maybe even how it translated to
the design. Too many late nights?
Well what I might do then is open her a little more to maybe 14' x
22'. Does that sound good or is that too small? What a pain that's
going to be in slow-mo in ACAD/Virtualbox in any case...
I think I'll call Microsoft tomorrow and see if they can send me a
copy of my WinXP on a USB stick, or suggest what I can do about
getting XP back on my hard drive proper (broken DVD player) so I can
run ACAD "natively". Either that or maybe throw the whole laptop out
At the same time, I'll look at the possibility of adding an XP ISO
file from/on my HDD to a HDD partition created with Linux.
I'll also look into what other ways there might be to find land
besides using real estate agents, etc..
Don: Maybe we can all get together and build/co-own the place. Ken
could bark out orders in a pointy wizard-like hat and point things out
with a "magic wand" laser pen.
What have you been doing with yourself lately? Done any planting? Lost
any weight? Making cheese?
Rico: For flat vanilla plans, I was thinking of ACAD's 3D slicing
function, but maybe that will get me into more trouble than it's
worth. I do recall some of the flat stuff under the model, so maybe I
can just delete everything beyond what's not flat and save as a new
file and add to it.
Troppo: Remind me to post a You Tube video for you that I can't find.
Not if you're willing to fight about it. But then I suppose some
people bitch, while others get into fist-fights with cops, military,
security-guards, and eat bullets, etc.. Which one are you, if any?
By the way, it seems you were touting some kind of bus-sized nuclear
stuff not too much before the Fukushima event...
Well I forget if I posted this here, but here it is in any case:
Fuzzy's hard and hard's fuzzy, but I appreciate the tip.
Haven't yet found the NS code online, but plans may have shifted
anyway (for the better perhaps-- we'll see-- garage post is a hint).
The weekly newspaper shows the permits that were pulled the previous
week, if any, and there's never more than 2 or 3.
But you can drive around and see all kinds of building going on,
remodeling, additions, new garages, porches, decks, out buildings,
I've done 4 major building projects on our property but only pulled a
permit on the first one.
No more will I pay someone to give me permission to work on my own
Think about it, would you pay someone to give you permission to eat
your supper, or fold your ol' lady up like a stepladder?
Sounds ludicrous doesn't it?
Likewise the building thing.
Asking permission to use your own stuff, I mean really.
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